Monthly Archives: January 2019


January Updates

Posted 31 January, 2019 by Lianne in Website / 1 Comment

Guess who’s back (more or less)? Scheduled posts have returned here on the blog, although I’m still a bit behind in catching up with book reviews. How long will this last, it’s hard to say.

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  1. Books reviewed recently: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fall of Gondolin (review), Agatha Christie’s The Crooked House (review), and Kevin Kwan’s Rich People Problems (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. One movie was reviewed this month: Ant-Man and the Wasp (review). You can check out all of the past movies I’ve watched and reviewed in this tag.
  3. Comics reviewed recently include Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight (vol. 1) (review) and Justice League: A League of One (review). You can read all of the comics I’ve reviewed over at this tag.
  4. I posted my answers to the 9th Annual End of the Year Book Survey. A little sparse considering how much less I read last year, but there you go.

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And that’s about it about the blog for the month of January! How is your 2019 going so far?

Review: Rich People Problems

Posted 29 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3)
By: Kevin Kwan
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside–but he’s not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls.

With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises.

As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife–a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette

Aww man here we are, last book in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. It’s been quite the romp so far…Usually I read these books in the summer time–that’s what I did with the first two books–but decided I needed something light and crazy to read during my Christmas holidays so I decided to pick up this book as my first read of 2019 🙂

Contains some spoilers if you haven’t read either book in the series!

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Review: The Case of Comrade Tulayev

Posted 25 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Case of Comrade Tulayev
By: Victor Serge
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

One cold Moscow night, Comrade Tulayev, a high government official, is shot dead on the street, and the search for the killer begins. In this panoramic vision of the Soviet Great Terror, the investigation leads all over the world, netting a whole series of suspects whose only connection is their innocence—at least of the crime of which they stand accused. But The Case of Comrade Tulayev, unquestionably the finest work of fiction ever written about the Stalinist purges, is not just a story of a totalitarian state. Marked by the deep humanity and generous spirit of its author, the legendary anarchist and exile Victor Serge, it is also a classic twentieth-century tale of risk, adventure, and unexpected nobility to set beside Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and André Malraux’s Man’s Fate.

This book has been sitting on my TBR pile for a few years now. It has elements that I like in a novel: set during a period of history that I had studied extensively, a mystery with many implicated elements to it, never really heard of it but hailed as a great novel (okay, not a necessity when I pick up a book but it’s enough to pique my interest, lol.

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Review: Crooked House

Posted 23 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Crooked House
By: Agatha Christie
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.

Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.

I seem to be slowly making my way through Agatha Christie’s standalone mysteries. I picked up this novel because I saw the trailer to the movie adaptation starring Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, and Max Irons. I was curious about it so here we are 🙂

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Review: The Fall of Gondolin

Posted 21 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Fall of Gondolin
By: J.R.R. Tolkien
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar: he is called the Lord of Waters, of all seas, lakes, and rivers under the sky. But he works in secret in Middle-earth to support the Noldor, the kindred of the Elves among whom were numbered Húrin and Túrin Turambar.

Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo’s desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo’s designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon’s daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.

At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Túrin and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same ‘history in sequence’ mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was ‘the first real story of this imaginary world’ and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three ‘Great Tales’ of the Elder Days.

It’s always exciting to learn a new Tolkien book is to be released, even if it is just early drafts to a well-known tale (and even with the debate of whether these drafts should be published since these were clearly not the final polished edition that the author preferred). The Tale of Gondolin is one of the more memorable stories in the Silmarillion so I did come to it (even if it took a while) with great curiosity.

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